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article imageFormer opposition leader named Congolese premier

By AFP     Apr 24, 2016 in Politics

Republic of Congo's newly-reelected President Denis Sassou Nguesso has named former opposition leader and one-time finance minister Clement Mouamba as his prime minister.

"Mr Clement Mouamba is named prime minister and head of government," said a presidential decree read on state television late Saturday, a week after Sassou Nguesso, who has been in power for 32 of the past 37 years, was sworn in for another five-year term.

Mouamba served as finance minister between 1992 and 1993 under the country's first elected president Pascal Lissouba, who was ousted from power by Sassou Nguesso in 1997.

He was a senior member of the opposition Pan-African Union for Social Democracy before being expelled in 2015 for taking part in the talks that paved the way for a constitutional referendum allowing Sassou Nguesso to extend his rule.

The referendum scrapped a two-term limit on presidential mandates, allowing Sassou Nguesso to bid to stay in office in March elections, which he won with more than 60 percent of the vote.

His challengers accused him of "massive" electoral fraud.

Sassou Nguesso has said the focus of his new mandate will be to strengthen the economy of the oil-producing country of four million people and tackle high youth unemployment.

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